Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Weekend Playtime

This past weekend, I went to visit  friends and fellow weavers in Georgia.  We had a day of weaving on Saturday.  It was a lovely day and we sat in the studio patio weaving in the fresh air.  I pulled the fabric off of my loom yesterday and wet finished it this morning.
What you are seeing is both ends of this piece at the bottom.  This warp had been pulled from the loom partially woven (easy to do with a Saori loom) and stored for probably a year.  I had not looked at the beginning (left side of photo) before I worked on the newer part.  I have greens near either end that are similar and play well together.  I think when you "weave your heart" that it just works out.

I love this cloth!  

Here is a photo of some of us in the patio area weaving.
I am approximately center of the photo weaving away. The two guys in the corner are working on a computer aided design program for wood working while their spouses are weaving.

The next day we dyed warps for our looms in a small class. I dyed two of mine.  As I had to bring them home wet, I hung them out in the sun today to finish drying.
We used creative resist methods to preserve the colors of the original warps in some areas.  One of my warps was dyed in a pot of purple dye and the other in a pot of red dye. The variations in color should make for a lovely weaving when it goes on the loom.   
I hope you had as much fun this past weekend as I did. 

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sweaty Creatives - the You-est You

This is a little "side-step." I think it is needed from time to time.  While we spend hours working -and sweating - over our creations,  how often do we listen to the critics who say "you can't do that." and believe them? 
For years I wouldn't sing in front of people because a critic told me "you can't sing."  Are you terrified to get up in front of a crowd to perform? Most performers -the good ones - do too.  I now sing in public and even have recorded myself and posted it online.  Yes that is a scary thing.

I read and watch a lot of things about creativity.  The following video is a speech that was made to a group of creatives.  There is so much good information here...but I loved this line: "These are the creatives. These are the people no one sat with in high school and then everybody wants to be when they grow up."  Those words bring up a lot of memories for me.  While it wasn't "no one" that sat with me, it was the other "weird kids" and "brains" at my table.  But you know, that which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.




Get out in the arena, be courageous. Get out in the arena, create from the "you"-est  you there is.

Once I get some photos taken, I will show the denim quilt finish and a couple of other little projects.  Meanwhile, I will see you in the arena.
Go Create!
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Friday, April 06, 2018

Getting there!

The denim and twill quilt is coming right along.  Did you forget about this one? 
At this point all the rows are sewn together and sewn to the backing.  Each row was joined into a long strip then I sewed the rows together onto the backing in a Quilt As You Go manner.  You may notice that the points don't match up every time.   There are a few lessons I learned making this quilt.

Lessons Learned:
1. Denim is bulky!  So seams should be offset or pressed open. Personally I hate pressing seams open. I pressed these to one side thinking that would allow me to nest seams. 
2.  Denim stretches a bit.  I realized that one reason jeans are so comfy is that the weave structure adds a bit of give along with the added strength it gives.  This  makes it harder to ease in the extra and make the points match.
3.  It is even more difficult to match points when you are also manipulating layers of fabric.
4.  It gets heavy fast!  this also causes drag to add to the other issues.

Next time:  cut a few of the blocks in half and offset the rows.

Here is another photo of it across the bed.
The scattered embroideries make me happy. 
I am binding this with the backing fabric to make life easier (I hope.)
You can see the binding that I did after sewing down the first two rows.  I am sure that was the easy part.  Now I have to do the other three sides while managing the weight of the entire quilt.

Wish me luck!
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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Playing with Repeats

Many of you probably know that printed fabric has repeats. Some of them are far more obvious than others. They are definitely more obvious on larger prints.  I saw blurb from CT Publishing about easy stacked four patch blocks.  Knowing the basic principle behind it, I decided to grab some fabrics and play.  Hmm.... I don't have a lot of fabrics that work well for this - I tend to like solids and blenders best.  Still, I found two and started cutting.

First I did a block using some Spider-man fabric (where on earth did I get that??? and why???)

Okay, I like the center but not the surrounding area.  Hmm, let me try the roses.
Originally the pieces were cut five inches square, but I couldn't find a pretty layout. So, I cut them into 2 1/2" pieces and pieced those.  I like them even though my cutting was slightly imperfect.  The designs still play well.  I trimmed them down to 4 inches.
Now, what to do with Spider-man?  I trimmed out a 4 inch block from the center.
I think that one is fun.  But there are some chunks left - what to do with them?
First I just put two together:
Not bad, but it isn't what I am doing so I didn't sew it. 
Then I saw this possibility so I laid it out for consideration.
I don't  have it exactly lined up- but I see that it will work.

Perhaps you want to see the original fabrics?  Here they are.

Have you ever played with repeats like this?  The first time I saw the concept was in a stack and whack kaleidoscope quilt at the first quilt show I ever attended.  This is a lot easier, I think.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Side Project

It has been a number of years since my Dad passed away. It was 2011 to be accurate.  Mom has held onto a lot of his clothes but is now ready to let more of them go.  One day while I was visiting, I noticed a large pillow in a chair that looked a bit shabby and discolored.  So three of his shirts were gathered to make a pillow front for the pillow.   Ahem, then they laid in a stack in my house for a few days  weeks.  Tuesday morning, I decided to stay in my PJs and sew a bit.  The shirts had been there long enough.  Four squares -each 12" by 12" - were cut from them and starched.  The cotton/poly squares were interfaced also.  Then they were sewn into a large four patch, nothing fancy, just a four patch.  I layered it with batting and straight line quilted the front for the pillow.

Then I used some upholstery/home dec fabric from my stash to make the back. I did the envelope method....and messed it up.  I ripped it apart and did it again.  I didn't realize what happened
The fabrics on the halves matched almost perfectly.  I can see the overlap, but I promise -that matching was just one of those small miracles that sometimes happen. I take no credit for that.
I see that the busyness of the fabric helps that illusion a bit also.

There are more shirts in the dryer that will cover the matching pillow - although it won't match when it is covered. The question now is "What will I back it with?"

While this post was sitting as a "draft"  I went right on and made the other cover.  The front:
The upper right corner uses the yoke of the shirt back turned sideways; while the lower right blue is part of the front and part of the back with a seam in the middle.
For the back, I used parts of two more shirts that were destined to be rags.
While the two pillows have enough in common to "go together" - they don't "match" per se. I like that better than "matchy/matchy." 

The other nice thing about these are that they will be used and will also serve as "comfortable memories" for Mom as well as my brother and me.

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